The Harness Cover

paper • 52 pages • 12.95
ISBN-10:  1-884800-15-7

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The Harness

Pat Mangan



My father had ideas
that made his face shine.
He sat at the kitchen table–
no one will remember this–
in Colorado, in ’49, he said
“Tomatoes” the word rolling
off his tongue so sweetly
I said “What.” “Don’t interrupt”
Mother said “and with your mouth
full.” But it was too late;
he was into it. His ears
grew red, then white,
bulbs it up behind his eyes.
Tomatoes! Yet I do
nothing. My mouth is full
of food, the good food he
puts on our table. I’m
nine. I don’t know yet
how the black blood presses
against his brain like a fist:
he sighs, falls to the ground,
froths at the mouth. I
don’t see him in the morning
walk to the closet, open the
door, asking his clothes why,
his shoes why, bruised and sweating.
Outside, the blizzard of ’49.
Tomatoes. I wanted to kiss him.
Instead I lift my glass of milk.



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